Another fantastic and fact filled read from Martin Popoff. This book reads like it was a labour of love rather than an assigned duty. As a music fan, I was mostly unfamiliar with Max Webster outside the hits and the cuts that were on my compilation CD. All I knew about the band was that it was Kim Mitchell’s band prior to going solo and the cover of UNIVERSAL JUVENILES is etched in my mind from my high school days of flipping through used LP’s looking for that rare Kiss title. Thankfully that has now changed and my collection is slightly larger (Classic Records pressing of the debut is stunning).
This book takes you on a journey from it’s beginnings in Sarnia right up to the break-up as well as the reunion show in the mid 00’s. Nothing is left out. For those of us that are familiar with Martin’s writings know very well that he does his research and goes to the source to get the information required first hand to give us, the reader the full story. This one however, is slightly different. The writings come off more as written by a die hard fan, which is no secret that he is. It is that minute aspect that makes it a bit more personal. His interviews with Pye Dubois really help us understand the lyrics a little better and where they came from. Fans know the quirkiness of them and the meanings are up for debate (like any good lyric) but can still tell a story or get a point across. Pye is a master at this and it aides the band in it’s Zappa-esque comparisons. Until I read this book I never noticed the similarities between the two but now it’s blatantly obvious. The other comparison was to Rush. They were even referred to as ‘Baby Rush’ by some. Another that I wouldn’t have thought of with my limited knowledge of the band.
The road stories and behind the scenes of recording make for one enjoyable read. While reading this book I played my compilation CD many, many times and placed an order online to increase my collection. This book will make you want to dive deeper into the recorded music and give you a much better insight into one of Canada’s most under-appreciated and overlooked bands despite Classic Rock Radio playing “Let Go The Line” and “Paradise Skies” regularly.